Forget all the spag bol you've ever had, this is the authentic version. It may be more involved, but it's well worth the extra effort. The addition of cream is an important element that smoothes the flavour of the sauce, which cries out for homemade pasta.
- 50 ml olive oil
- 1.3 kg chuck steak, coarsely minced
- 100 gm pancetta, finely chopped
- 50 gm unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- 1 each of stalk of celery, carrot and onion, cut into ½ cm pieces
- 10 sage leaves
- 15 gm dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
- 100 gm tomato paste
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) beef stock
- 200 ml double cream
- To serve: finely grated parmesan
- 300 gm (1 cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 1Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add steak and pancetta, increase heat to high, add 2 tsp of salt and cook until liquid evaporates and meat browns (10-15 minutes). Scatter butter over meat and stir until evenly brown (25-30 minutes), then add vegetables, sage and mushrooms and cook over low-medium heat (10-15 minutes). Add tomato paste, stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and cook over high heat and (while using a wooden spoon scrape bottom of pot to remove residue) reduce liquid until almost evaporated. Repeat process twice, then add remaining beef stock and cook, covered, over low heat until meat is tender (1½ hours). Add more stock if ragù becomes too dry. Skim fat from surface, add cream and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper and set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, for pasta dough, pulse flour and 1 tsp of salt in a food processor until combined. With motor running, add eggs, then gradually add ¼ cup iced water and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes. Divide dough into 4, then using a pasta machine with rollers at widest setting, working with one piece at a time, feed dough through the rollers. Fold in half lengthways, then feed through rollers again, repeating until smooth, then reducing settings notch by notch, feeding and rolling until dough is 1mm-thick.
- 3Cut pasta sheets into fettuccine or tagliatelle and cook in boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes). Drain and toss through ragù. Serve immediately, scattered with parmesan.
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied red brunello. Drink suggestion by Max Allen